tv PBS News Hour PBS May 8, 2013 10:00pm-11:01pm PDT
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> brown: a diplomat who served in libya said the staff at the enghazi mission did not get the military aid they needed, when the post was attacked last fall. good evening, i'm jeffrey brown. >> suarez: and i'm ray suarez. on the "newshour" tonight, we get the latest on today's congressional hearing, where republicans renewed charges of a cover-up and democrats said the issue was being politicized. >> brown: then, we update the remarkable story of three cleveland women freed after being held captive for more than a decade. >> suarez: paul solman talks with the new treasury secretary, jack lew about jobs financial
reform and the partisan divide over automatic federal spending cuts. >> the thing that i find truly amazing is that there are members of congress who are calling the sequester a success. a victory. their policy. they can have the policy. nobody at the time thought it should take effect. >> brown: miles o'brien reports from guatemala on the forensic science used to document charges of genocide that wiped out thousands of indigenous mayans in the early eighties. >> this skeleton shows evidence of four close range gunshot wounds to the head. the mans hands were tied behind his back: an execution. >> suarez: and why do hospitals charge wildly different amounts for the same procedures? we examine new data from center for medicare and medicaid. >> brown: that's all ahead on tonight's "newshour." >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
♪ ♪ moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf, the engine that connects us. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... >> this program was made possiblby the corporation for publ brocastg. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> brown: the battle over the benghazi consulate attack was renewed today in congress.
at a lengthy hearing, a house committee heard new testimony about what happened during the deadly assault and after. "newshour" correspondent kwame holman has our report. >> reporter: from the opening gavel, the political battle lines were clear. republicans still accuse the obama administration of deception about the attack on the u.s. mission in benghazi eight months ago that killed u.s. ambassador christopher stevens and three other americans. california republican darrell issa chaired today's hearing. >> i want those watching this proceeding to know that we'veç made extensive efforts to engage the administration and to see and hear their facts. the administration, however, has not been cooperative, and unfortunately, our minority has mostly sat silent as we've made these requests. >> reporter: but maryland's elijah cummings, the top democrat on the government oversight committee, led his party's response that republicans merely are pursuing
political gain. >> what we have seen over the past two weeks is a full-scale media campaign that is not designed to investigate what happened in a responsible and bipartisan way, but rather to launch unfounded accusations anç to smear public officials. let me be clear: i am not questioning the motives of our witnesses. i am questioning the motives of those who want to use them for political purposes. >> reporter: committee republicans invited three state department officials whose statements about the u.s. response to the attack has resurrected the issue. veteran foreign service officer gregory hicks was deputy chief of mission in benghazi libya at the time of the attack. >> none of us should ever again experience what we went through in tripoli and benghazi on 9/11/2012. >> reporter: hicks was based in tripoli, more than 600 miles from benghazi. he spoke with then-secretary of state clinton in the early hours
of the assault. >> she asked me what was going on and i briefed her on developments. most of the conversation was about the search for ambassador stevens. it was also about what we were going to do with our personnel in benghazi and i told her we would need to evacuate and she said that was the right thing to do. >> reporter: but hicks said his staff also was wary of walking into a trap. and, he described futile attempts to call in help from the u.s. african command and a u.s. air base in italy. >> i asked the defense attacheé who had been talking with africom and with the joint staff, is anything coming? will they be sending us help? is something out there? and he answered that the nearest
help was in aviano where there were fighter planes and he said that it would take two to three hours for them to get on site but also there were no tankers available for them to refuel. >> reporter: hicks said if the in an e-mail on monday, pentagon spokesman george little defended the u.s. military's response. he said, "department officials started taking action immediately after learning that an attack was underway, but our forces were unable to reach it in time to intervene to stop the attacks." today's hearing is the latest chapter in a political dispute arising out of last fall's attack on the benghazi facility. a total of five house committees, led by republicans, have conducted investigations. together, they released a report last month that charged the obama administration had "willfully perpetuated a deliberately misleading and incomplete narrative." in the days just after the
attack, u.n. ambassador susan rice and others in the administration, suggested it could have been triggered by muslim protests, like an earlier incident at the u.s. bassy in egypt. >> what this began as was a spontaneous, not a premeditated response to what had transpired in cairo. >> reporter: the administration has said rice was simply following unclassified talking points based on the best information available at the time. republicans insist officials knew almost immediately that it was a terrorist attack, but did not want to say so in the midst of president obama's re-election campaign. secretary clinton-- a potential presidential candidate in 2016-- confronted the claims at a january heari, just before stepping down. >> the fact is that we had four dead americans. was it because of a protest? or was it because some guys out for a walk one night who decided they would go kill some americans? what difference at this point does it make? >> reporter: but at the hearing today, eric nordstrom, the
former regional security officer in libya, said it does make a difference.ç >> it matters to me personally and it matters to my colleagues at the department of state. it matters to the american public for whom we serve. and, most importantly, it matters to the friends and families of ambassador stevens, shawn smith, glenn doherty, tyrone woods who were murdered on september 11th, 2012. >> reporter: a review board led by former ambassador thomas pickering and former admiral mike mullen found that serious management and leadership failures at the state departmenç led to grossly inadequate security in benghazi. republicans argued today the
review did not get at all the facts and that a cover-up continues. in turn, white house spokesman jay carney insisted the administration has cooperated fully, and he lashed out at the critics. >> attempts to politicize this which have guided republicans unfortunately since the hours after the attack and the republican nominee for president issued a highly misguided press elease about it in an tem to turn it into a political issue, have been unfortunate and haven't been focused on the problem itself. >> reporter: today's hearing may have resolved little, but there's more to come. republicans say the investigations will go on, and they say former secretary clinton may be subpoenaed to testify again. >> suarez: still to come on the "newshour": new details about the women held captive in ohio; treasury secretary jack lew; forensic science at work in a genocide trial in guatemala. plus, different bills at different hospitals for the same
care. but first, the other news of the day. here's hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: the obama administration may be close to approving a revamp of surveillance laws, making it easier to wiretap online conversations. "the new york times" reported today the f.b.i. plan aims to catch up with technologies that go beyond telephone communication. the plan would have to be submitted to congress, and technology companies already oppose it. they argue it would quash innovation and open systems to hackers. the president of south korea told the u.s. congress today that north korea must be rid of nuclear weapons. president park geun-hye was greeted with a long ovation as she entered the house of representatives. she paid tribute to u.s. veterans of the korean war, and singled out four congressmen who served there. but her main message to the lawmakers was that a nuclear- armed north korea is unacceptable. >> the leadership in pyongyang must make no mistake. security does not come from nuclear weapons.
security comes when the lives of its people are improved. it comes when people are free to pursue their happiness. >> sreenivasan: this was park's first overseas trip since taking power in february. former south carolina governor mark sanford is headed back to congress, four years after he plunged into political disgrace. the republican beat democrat elizabeth colbert-busch in a special election tuesday, winning a seat he held for three terms in the 1990s. last night, after winning 54 percent of the vote, sanford joked that he had returned from the politicadead. >> some guy came to me the other day, he said, you look a lot like lazarus and i say that because if it was just about market-based ideas and limited government, this campaign would have been easily won a long time ago. >> sreenivasan: sanford was governor in 2009, when he disappeared for five days, and
then admitted he had gone to argentina to visit his mistress. he is now engaged to her. a leading contender in pakistan's weekend elections is expected to make a full recovery from a serious accident. one-time cricket star imran khan was at a political rally tuesday, when he fell 15 feet off a forklift. he fractured three vertebrae and a rib, but doctors now say they expect him to heal completely. khan's party is considered one of the three main challengers in saturday's voting for a new parliament. european police have nabbed 31 people across three countries in a $50 million diamond heist in belgium. the robbery happened at the brussels airport on february 18. men dressed as police officers and armed with machine guns drove onto the tarmac and off- loaded diamonds from a plane bound for switzerland. it took barely five minutes, and succeeded without a single shot fired. today, the brussels prosecutor's office announced police in belgium, france and switzerland swept up the suspects and more. >> ( translated ): several objects were seized during the search. in switzerland, some diamonds
were found. we can already tell that they come from the heist. in belgium, large sums of money have also been found. the investigation is now continuing.ç >> sreenivasan: it was unclear just how many of the stolen diamonds are still missing. the former c.e.o. of enron could get up to ten years shaved off his sentence, after striking a deal today with prosecutors. jeffrey skilling has served more than six years of a 24-year prison term for his role in the collapse of the giant energy company. if a federal judge approves, the sentence could be cut to 14 years. a new genetic test went on sale today that could help curb over- treatment of prostate cancer. the test is designed to gauge just how aggressive a patient's cancer is. most prostate tumors grow too slowly to be life-threatening, but some can prove fatal. until now, there's been no way to tell whi about 240,000 men in the u.s. are diagnosed wh prostate cancer annually. on wall street, the dow jones industrial average kept going, after breaking the 15,000 barrier yesterday. the dow gained nearly 49 points
today to close at 15,105. the nasdaq rose 16 points to close at 3,413. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to ray. >> suarez: we turn to the dramatic events unfolding in northeastern ohio. authorities today revealed more about how three women were held for a decade and outlined kidnapping and rape charges against one man. neighbors and news cameras swarmed the scene this morning, as amanda berry and her six- year-old daughter-- conceived in captivity-- arrived at her sister's home in cleveland. the sister, beth serrano, asked for time and understanding. >> we appreciate all you have done over the past ten years, please respect privacy until we are ready to make our statements. thank you. >> suarez: berry is now 27. she was rescued monday from a rundown cleveland home, ten years after she was kidnapped. lice also found 23-year-old gina dejesus, who disappeared 2004.
she, too, returned home today. >> i knew she needed me and i never gave up, i never gave up searching for her. >> suarez: the oldest of the three women, michelle knight, remained hospitalized. there was no word on her her grandmother said the family thought knight left home on her own when she vanished in 2002 at age 20. new details of the victims ordeal also emerged today. a city councilman briefed on the case said the womesuffered repeated sexual abuse and miscarriages. on n.b.c. this morning, police chief michael mcgrath said investigators found restraints in the house where the women were held. >> we have confirmation that they were bound and there was chains and ropes at the home. >> suarez: meanwhile, f.b.i. agents searched the home of ariel castro for evidence. they removed the door that berry kicked out and escaped through before calling 911 on a neighbor's phone. castro along with his brothers
pedro and onil have been arrested, and remain in jail. authorities announced late today that ariel castro has given a detailed statement, and is being charged with kidnapping and rape, as for his two brothers: >> no charges will be filed against these two individuals. there is no evidence of crimes committed against gina, amanda, michelle and the minor child. >> suarez: officials said they have many questions that still need answers, and there could be more charges to come. for the latest, we tn peter krouse. he's a reporter with the "cleveland plain dealer" newspaper, which has been closely tracking the story. peter, welcome. what do we know about this case that we didn't know this morning? i know the prosecutor and the chief investigator gave a news conference just before we went on the air this evening. did they reveal some new facts?ç
>> well, they did reveal some new facts. obviously the... one of the more interesting facts is the fact that two of the brothers are not being charged and that they're saying that they... there's no evidence that they had anything to do with this crime. i think most of the reporting up to this point has been that all three were going to be charged in connection with this.ç instead it's just ariel castro the owner of the house charged with kidnapping and rape. i think some of the more interesting details that have come out is that these women were in this home, it looks like, for the entire time, almost the entire time, we are told, and i think this came out at the press conference that they left the house twice in disguise and they went into the garage. they never apparently left the property in ten years. other information that came out
today not necessarily at the press conference had to do with some of the conditions in there. we had known about the ropes and the chains that were found. we also understand that there were slots in some of the doors where items could be passed in and out such as food which conjures up an image of a dungeon-like environment. we also learned that at the press conference that the amanda berry gave birth to her child in an inflatable pool. the information about the... one of the other victims, michelle knight, being forcedded to deliver that baby was also new information. >> suarez: three charges of rape were filed. and four of kidnapping. who was the fourth person? >> i believe that would be the child. the six-year-old daughter of amanda berry. i believe that would be the fourth person. interestingly, i understand
there was no information apparently that relates the suspects here to the disappearance of a woman named ashley summers who disappeared in 2007 when she was 14. i think the f.b.i. and police were hopeful that this investigation would turn up some leads into that disappearance. my understandingshat it hasn't so far. >> suarez: the two other brothers, pedro and onil, they weren't taken into custody at the house? >> no, they were taken into custody as they arrived at the house where they lived on another street. they did not live there with their brother ariel. >> suarez: there was a steady drum beat of stories coming out of that west cleveland neighborhood. talking about attempts to tell the police over the years, attempts to report ari cast fo various infractions.
did the police handle that today in the press conference? >> i did not hear the entire press conference, but i believe they did say that they did everything they could. in fact, yeah, i know they did. they said that they investigated every lead that they knew of and i know we've reported in the plain dealer a lot of the efforts that they went to, to try and find these girls. one of the officials said that in hindsight, you know, they may discover that there was something that they missed. but that it would be hindsight. it was not anything that they could pinpoint. these cases... at least in the case of amanda berry and gina dejesus, the two who were abductd as teenagers, those cases were pretty well publicized. and the efforts by the police to find some answers were pretty
well publicized too. >suarez: we caut fleeing f two of the women: ms. berry and ms. dejesus. the third, michelle knight wasn't been seen at all. she remains in the hospital. do we know anything about her physical condition and why she's needed to be hospitalized all this time since she was freed? >> well, i believe when they entered the house, michelle knight complained of some heart problems. i'm guessing that that's why she was placed back in the hospital. perhaps there's an issue... she was having heart pains or something of that nature. i don't know exactly why she went back into the hospital. i did hear though that... i think i heard she was in good condition. i don't think there's it's i'm not aware of anything that is life threatening or anything of that nature. while they were reported
initially in pretty good condition, you know, i'm sure, you know, they had some physical problems that are going to have to be addressed. >> the twobrothers whoemain uncharged are in police custody because they have other pending items before the police. but ariel castro, what's the next shoe to drop in his legal process? >> well, i believe he'll be arraigned tomorrow morning. an arraignment is when you plead to the charges. i am sure ariel castro will plead not guilty to these charges. he will, depending on what his financial wherewithal, he will either hire a lawyer or be assignd a lawyer by the cot. i'm sure he will plead not guilty. and then the process of pretrials and discovery of information will begin. this could take a long, long
time. and also there could be other charges as a result of this. i'm not aware of any other potential victims that could arise from this investigation. but this is just the very beginning of the legal process. that i believe will begin tomorrow with t arraignment. >> suarez: peter krouse of the cleveland plain dealer, thanks for joining us. >> you're welcome. >> brown: now, the point man for the obama administration on what for so many americans remain the most pressing matters of the day: jobs and economic growth. treasury secretary jack lew has been in the post since february. "newshour" economics correspondent paul solman caught up with him on the road yesterday, part of paul's ongoing reporting on "making sense" of financial news. >> reporter: just outside cleveland, ohio, the new factory of one of america's fastest growing manufacturing firms: vitamix, maker of hot products
in haute and not-so-haute cuisine-- high-end blenders. we were here to interview secretary lew, who ran the office of management and budget for both presidents clinton and obama, was the current presidents first-term chief of staff, and took over from tim geithner at treasury in february.ç you'll be seeing the new secretary'name on a bill nar you soon. though after the president joked about lew's loopy signature, he decided to straighten it out. as treasury secretary, lew is tasked with tackling, among other issues: the sequester; dealing with deficit hawks, mainly in the g.o.p., who think the sequester doesn't cut government enough; the slow pace of financial reform; the euro- slump and, of course, lackluster job and economic growth, which is what brought him to vitamix, to trumpet a success story.ç but what about nearly 12 million americans without a job?
four million of them long-term unemployed and that rate hasn't budged since 2011. >> we see a long-term unemployment rate that's too high and it's not okay. it's something that we have to be just vigilant about addressing. we've got to have economic growth creating enough jobs so that we can not just deal with the new entries into the labor force and people who are in jobs changing jobs, but creating enough jobs so that people who've been out of the labor force could get back in. >> reporter: but why don't these people, long-term unemployed, older workers, i've been covering them lately, why don't they seem to be your top priority? >> our top priority is growing the economy and creating more jobs. we can't target where those jobs are created. the decisions are made in businesses like this, where you know there's economic activity and people are being put to work. if you look around, all the packages here that are wrapped
in red are for export. people are buying u.s. products cause they're quality products and if we make the things the world wants we will sell things overseas and well create more jobs. i think that older workers are facing different challenges than younger workers. for older workers, the skills that they have they may need some re-training and we have some proposals that would help deal with re-training. there are also challenges when people are out of the workforce that they expect to lose some of their relationships and connections. you know we have to use both official and some of the bully pulpit approaches we have to encourage employerso take another lookt older workers who've been out of the work force. >> reporter: is it something you can do? >> for younger workers, you know we have to make sure that they get the skills training in you know elementary, secondary school and in post-secondary school so they can get into the workforce. we have too many young people who are, there's a hiatus between their graduating and their entering the work force
and getting their first job. and we have to create opportunities to cut across these groups. >> reporter: you were in europe recently. you're going back to the u.k. for the g7. you've been telling them to ease up on austerity. should we ease up on austerity here at home by ending the sequester say? >> i have been going to our... our partners in europe and making the case that they need to get the right balance between growth and austerity. they focus too quickly on deficit reduction and not enough on getting their economy moving. they're looking at our growth rate and they're-- i think aware of the fact that we've done something more effective than they did to get out of the recession. here in the united states were probably doing more deficit reduction now than anyone really thought we should be. the sequester took effect not because it was designed to take effect. it took effect because congress failed to enact a balanced long term deficit reduction package. we think that's wrong, we think that the sequester is irresponsible and it should be
replaced with a more balanced longer term approach and we should remove that drag on the economy and also the specific effects which are very damaging to the economy. >> reporter: but from what im reading, you're credited with having helped concoct the sequester. >> if you go back to the summer of 2011, we were in a very difficult situation where congressional republicans were saying we will not extend the debt limit, we will force a default of the united statesç unless something is enacted. we tried every other option; there was no meeting of the minds on short term policy. so then the question was, what could be put in place that would be so awful that congress would never let it happen so that they would then go to work and enact a balanced plan and sequester was the result. the thing that i find truly amazing is that there are members congress who are calling the sequester a success, a victory, their policy.ç they can have the policy. nobody at the time thought it
should take effect. it was meant to be something that would spur action on a more balanced basis. >> reporter: but isn't it an administration's job to figure out how to deal with the congress that it faces? >> i can tell you it takes two parties for it to work. no one party can make it work and i think that the notion you know if you look at what the president has done over the last several years, he has shown in time and again that he is llinto gmore than half-way to make a reasonable agreement. in his budget this year he put forward proposals that many on our side say, why did the president put that in his budget? and he put it in to establish clearly that there is a reasonable middle ground where we can have a balanced approach with some more revenues and some serious savings on entitlement programs. the question now is will republicans come forward? >> reporter: we're in cleveland, where the foreclosure problem really began. are you proud of the administrations record on foreclosures given how many americansost their homes?
>> i think we have made a lot of progress there's still more progress to be made. if you look overall, there's like 6.5 million americans who've been managed to refinance their homes either directly because of what the government has done or because of programs where the private sector moved in and kind of followed in kind. there's millions more who should be able to refinance their homes. there's no excuse for somebody who is in a home where they can pay their mortgage and they're stuck in a mortgage that's at well above current market rates not to be able to refinae. now we think that's something that we ought to be able to get bipartisan agreement on. i actually am still optimistic we can. i wouldn't want to have to explain to a homeowner whether it's here in ohio or in florida or in nevada that when interest rates start going up, they were the only they were the ones who couldn't get the benefit of lower market rates. we're working on what whatever we can do administratively and i think in the end it would require legislation to really help a lot of those families. >> reporter: it's three years since the president signed the dodd-frank wall street reform
act, most of it hasn't been implemented and a lot of people say its wall street that's been slowing itown, chipping away at it. have you stood up to wall street? >> first of all, dodd-frank was a extremely important piece of legislation. it created powerful new tools, the first time in two generations that we had new tools to deal with a financial system that clearly had gotten out of control and in 2008 caused a huge economic crisis. at the beginning, it was difficult to implement dodd- frank. we had this enormous effort as soon as it was signed into law to repeal it. that slowed the process down. we're now in a place where i think there is a shared sense of urgency, certainly an urgency i feel as treasury secretary to get dodd-frank fully implemented. >> reporter: last question, should we be ending the era of too big to fail banks?
>> dodd-frank was enacted to end too big to fail. it established as a policy that the federal government cannot go in and bail out banks again. so the question is now asked, do those tools work? and i think it's a little premature to answer because were still not across the finish line of implementing all of dodd- frank. i think you're seeing the regulators are looking at many of the dials that could be turned to make it more costly to be a big bank by raising capital standards to make it more difficult to get overextended through leverage requirements.ç so i can't sit here today and see into the future and say with 100% certainty that we've succeeded, but i can say with 100% certainty we are determined to succeed. >> reporter: mr. secretary, thank you very much. >> thank you. >> suarez: next, a story that combines murder, politics and science in the central american nation of guatemala.ç it centers on the trial of the country's former leader, efrain
rios montt, charged with genocide that occurred during his rule in the 1980s. rios montt-- a fervent anti- communist-- was backed by the reagan administration. at the time, the u.s. was criticized for supporting rios montt's forces and claiming violence was decreasing. but in 1999 president bill clinton traveled to guatemala and expressed his regret for the u.s. government's role and for not doing more to stop the killings. now, the trial comes at a pivotal moment for the country. newshour science correspondent miles o'brien reports. >> reporter: in the lush volcanic highlands of guatemala, a hike down a mountain trail often leads to the very heart of darkness. and that is where jose ceto took me on this day near the village of xexucap. "they have exhumed 26 bodies
here so far-- girls, boys, elderly men and women," he told me. this place is one of at least 2,000 mass graves that dot the rugged landscape like festering wounds. the scars of a civil war that that spanned 36 years in which some 200,000 were killed, more than 80% of them indigenous mayans. "there were total massacres," he says. "people were tortured, burned, shot, stabbed by soldiers. they were exterminating entire communities. you can't say that's not genocide." this is at the heart of a turbulent, trial in the capital. the man who ruled guatemala during the bloodiest years of the long war, general jose efrain rios montt, now 86, faces charges of genocide and crimes against humanity.
the charges stem from 15 massacres targeting ixil mayans that left over 1,700 dead, and displaced 29,000. never before in world history has a former head of state faced charges like these in a domestic court in his home country. in 1999 a u.n.-sponsored commission reported that it had found evidence of genocide and acts of brutality committed by the army against mayans. but unequivocal as the report is, it is not a not legal verdict. for years, efforts to bring montt to trial were thwarted because he held a congressional office, giving him immunity. when his term ran out in early 2012, a judge ruled he should stand trial. rios montt has remained mostly silent since the trial began. his daughter, zury, a guatemalan legislator and the wife of former u.s. congressman jerry weller, has been at her father's
side, in court and in the court of public opinion. was there genocide during your fathers regime apresident here in guatemala? >> ( translated ): in guatemala there was no genocide during any regime. >> reporter: so what happened here? >> ( translated ): in guatemala, there was a confrontation. in guatemala, there was war. >> reporter: but scientists have built a compelling forensics case that offers layers of evidence of a campaign to wipe out innocent indigenous guatemalans. it begins with the exhumations. over the past 20 years, the guatemalan forensic anthropology foundation has unearthed 6,500 bodies from clandestine graves.ç the bones are cleaned, laid out and then carefully analyzed. this skeleton shows evidence of four close range gunshot wounds to the head.
the man's hands were tied behind his back: an execution. forensic anthropologist fredy peccerelli-- a guatemalan raised in the bronx-- is executive rector here. would there be a case, would there be a trial, without the evidence that you put together here? >> there could be a trial without this evidence but these are the bones and skeletons talking from the grave and telling the judges what happened to them. so if you take the physical evidence that we are presenting to the testimonial evidence then you can make your own decisions. >> reporter: in a sophisticated d.n.a. lab, they are grinding up bones or teeth and extracting dna. using software developed to identify 9/11 attack victims,
they analyze about 300 samples a month, comparing genes found in the remains to relatives who lost their loved ones in the slaughters or who simply went missing. so far they have identified less than half of the remains they have exhumed. their storage rooms overflow with backlog of cardbrd boxes filled with bones. but rios montts supporters insist the scientists are either imprecise or flat wrong, that there is no way to link the deaths to his nearly 17 month reign in 1982 and '83. guatemalan harris whitbeck was one of montt's top advisors in the ixil region. he testified for the defense at the trial. >> do they know who shot the bullet? do they know exactlon t date these people were killed?
i'm not a scientist. i don't know. >> reporter: in fact, the forensic anthropologists are not that precise. but the bones aren't all that are doing the talking. 30 years ago, an eye in the sky was watching-- a u.s. science satellite called landsat passing overhead. russ schimmer is an expert in geomatics-- the science of gathering, analyzing and intereting geographi information. he has pored over landsat images of the ixil highlands of guatemala captured before and after montt's rule. he has documented huge swaths of land that were highly vegetated in 1979 and then barren in 1986. schimmer ruled out natural causes, leaving only massive, deliberately set fires as the possible cause. >> there's no way you're going to go out there and light a match and you're going to see some of the areas that were burned are five football fields
large and it covers areas which are just huge, hundreds of square kilometers of destroyed vegetation. >> reporter: but could the carnage during montts regime simply be random casualties of war, not the mass murder of an ethnic group? also testifying at the trial: statistician patrick ball. he culled and compared homicide rates from four separate sources. >> we calculate that about 5.5% of the indigenous people alive in april of 1982 were killed by july of 1983, 5.5% were killed in those 16 months, at the same time among their non-indigenous neighbors about 0.7% of the people who were alive in april of 1982 had been killed by july of 1983. >> reporter: there is also a massive incriminating paper trail that the rios montt regime left behind. these are some of the 80 million
documents found in a derelict warehouse in the capital in 2005. it was the headquarters of the national police, implicated in the torture, murder, and disappearance of tens of thousands of citizens, some of them children. an independently funded group is using the latest archival science techniques to clean,ç organize and scan everything into a searchable online database. kate doyle is an advisor to the guatemalan national police historical archive. >> the opening of public access to the material has just democratized this information and then in some ways, democratized people's understanding of the conflict itself, of the war itself.ç >> reporter: filmmaker pamela yates also unwittingly gathered a key piece of evidence against rios montt in 1982, as she shot
her film when the mountains tremble. she captured gut wrenching proof of the brutality of the guatemalan government forces. but it was an outtake of her interview with general montt that proved most damning he told her our strength is in our capacity to make command decisions, that's the most important thing. the army is ready and able to act because if i can't control the army then what am i doing here? the clip became the centerpiece of yates 2011 film "granito." and prosecutors played the full interview at the trial. rios montt could only watch as his own words confird he h firm control over the army and its actions during the slaughters. >> on one hand, we're using great technology, innovative technology to discover things
that we didn't know before. and on the other hand, we're using traditional technology like the documents in the police archive. like the 16 millimeter film from 1982 that come together and form a meeting. >> reporter: but all the forensic science and technology would mean nothing without the courageo tesmonyf the ixil who are in court every day. more than 30 women have testified. they recounted horrible stories of government soldiers killing their babies, husbands, and relatives, and then raping them repeatedly. juana sanchez toma was one of them. she told the court she was captured by guatemalan army soldiers and taken to the main church in nebaj where they severely beat her. "they raped us in groups, repeatedly," she said. "a mountain of women, so many women, they raped us all, but none of the women said
anything because we were terrified. but the pain never ended. i began to hemorrhage from all of the rapes. they said, go to your house. they threw me out but i was hemorrhaging." the same thing happened to her mother, who died not long after she was released. it's gripping testimony. do you doubt the credibility of those women? >> ( translated ): i doubt the credibility of several witnesses, zury rios montt told me. >> reporter: some of them have invented stories that have been indoctrinated in them. why? because they were members of the counterinsurgency movement and they been told that if they say this or that they will receive financial compensation. juana sanchez toma is desperately poor and yet generous. she has taken in this devastated widow and is offended by theç accusation she is simply seeking money.
"what i want is justice," she told me. "they gave the orders, that all of the savages be exterminated, that they take out the garbage, because they said we were savages and that we were garbage." nearby, in the town of nebaj, ixil mayans have not forgotten any of this. the rule of law and the rules of forensic science may be changing this country, but the change is slow. and in the church, where the women were raped, there is a shrine to those who died in the massacres, mories that noç amount of justice will erase. >> suarez: producer xeni jardin is still in guatemala covering the trial, where closing arguments began this evening. miles gets more details from her in an online conversation. plus, you can watch an extended version of the report you just saw.
>> brown: finally tonight, how much for that surgery or this ventilator? the government today released da showing some othescost for the first time, targeting what hospitals bill medicare for the 100 most common procedures. and, it turns out, they can vary wildly from one hospital to another. in florida, for example, the university of miami hospital charges the government more than $78,000 for a major joint replacement. but the mercy hospital and medical center in chicago charges about $36,000 for a similar procedure. even within the samcity, differences cabe great at the advocate illinois masonic medical center, that procedure costs $73,000. the numbers are striking, but the picture is more confusing still: since medicare, insurers and patients don't typically pay these sticker prices. barry meier of the new york times covered the story and
joins us now. barry, welcome to you. we gave a couple of examples. tell us more about these disparities. what jumped out at you? >> well, first of all, thanks very much for having me on. it's kind of like giving a group of high school kids a calculator and saying, okay, kids, add up these numbers as quick as ssib and makeup whever numbers you want. on the surface it looks like madness. just a kind of chaos of numbers that don't make sense when you look at them either directly or incomparison to each other. so the question is, what is the method to this madness? are these numbers driving up hospital costs? are they costing us more as private payors, as government payors? and one has to think that higher sticker prices invariably do lead to higher costs so the question now becomes what is the connti between ese charges and the prices we actually do pay? >> brown: before you get to that though, what explains the great disparities between and among hospitals even within the same
city? >> as far as that goes your guess is as good as mine. i mean these hospitals come up with charges. they're built on some basis. they develop years and years ago. they play some cat-and-mouse game between insurers and payors like medicare where they keep lopping on higher and higher arges and th deduct sething and then they charge more. so they all have their own cost basis that they use, and that's what you see in the wide disparity. none of these numbers have any relationship to reality. >> brown: in your reporting, i saw they responded in variousç ways. some are teaching hospitals. some are working with, i guess, poorer populations so there was that response at least to the numbers today. >> right. there is some justification for variation for the exact, for the exact reasons that you said. so you couldee variations of, say, one to two times what the
average payment might be. but on average, what we were seeing nationally when we crunched the data was aç four o five fold increase above the average. when we asked ex-pers like the official at medicare that we interviewed, they have no clue as to why there's such a wide variation. >> brown: as we said, the government, medicare and insurers, they negotiate their own prices. so theyre not actually ying thkin of numbers that come out in this, right? i mean, to what degree is it a fiction, to what degree does it have real meaning for how much is actually paid? >> well, i think that's the real question. i mean, medicare supposedly pays about 91 cents of what it cost a hospital to deliver a service. insurers pay $30% more than medicare. so they're paying dramatically lower than what the hospitals are sending in as bills. but the question then comes,
is the ounthat thy're paying being effectively inflated because the hospitals are saying, well, it really costs us this or we charge some people this. and are those inflated bills showing up in the charges that are negotiated between medicare or insurers and the hospitals? >> brown: i see. what about for individuals particularly uninsured individuals? how much would trickle down to them or would they have to pay? >> well, you know, they're seeing the full freight. ey're seeing at i essentially the rack rate, you know, the highest price that the hospital will charge. in some cases, they are being struck with those bills in court proceedings. these are sort of the extraordinarily high charges that may force people into bankruptcy. other people simply don't pay the bill. then the hospitals may write them down, write off those costs
against their bottom line so they're showing up perhaps as tax writedowns and they're coming out of the public covers in that wa >> brow as you said at the outset here, this question that this plays into, of course, is the much larger issue of holding down costs. very political issue. why are these numbers coming out now? how do they play into the current political debate? how will they be used or seen? >> well, i think they play very strongly into the current political debate. and that is they open up the door to the fundamental question which is what is the basis for the actual charge that or the actual bill that medicare is paying or an insurers paying? you know, how are hospitals and health care providers -- be it drug companies, medical device companies -- justifying the prices that they charge? don't forget, whatever the hospital is paying is basically an acculumation of what they're paying, say, for an artificial
hip orç a drug. and when you start digging down into those payments, you see that everywhere along the line these prices are inflated. they don't make sense. >> brown: barry meier of the "new york times thanks so much. >> my pleasure, thank you. brown: there were some technical difficulties on that audio for the interview. we apologize for those. an on-line note. there's a $600,000 discrepancy on what hospitals charge medicare for the most spencive procedure. you can find out what that is and more on our health page.ç >> suarez: again, the other major developments of the day: the battle over the benghazi consulate attack was renewed at a lengthy house hearing. a u. diplomat who seed in libya testified the mission did not get the military aid it needed. and a cleveland man, ariel castro, was charged with
kidnapping and rape in the case of three women who were held captive for years. >> brown: online, a soprano prepares to soar into outer space. hari sreenivasan explains. >> sreenivasan: sarah brightman's latest is an ethereal concept album about the universe. art beat talks to the singer about a dream she plans to make come true-- a trip to the international space station. and using cell phones to make sure critical medicines are in stock for patients in rural malawi. that story is on the rundown. all that and more is on our website newshour.pbs.org. jeff? >> brown: before we go tonight: we want to tell you about our upcoming report on the anniversary of the watergate hearings. and we'd like your input. >> good evening from washington. in a few moments, we're going to bring you the entire proceedings in the first day of the senate watergate hearings. >> we are doing this as an experiment, temporarily abandoning our ability to edit, to give you the whole story, however many hours it may take. it's been 40 years since robert macneil and jim lehrefirst teamed up to co-anchor public
televisions gavel-to-gavel coverage of the senate watergate hearings-- all 250 hours worth-- in the summer of 1973. from that partnership came a news program that has gone through a variety of forms and lives on in what you're watching today. jim and robin share their look back in a special report we'll air later this month, covering watergate. but we also want to hear from you, our viewers, about the watergate scandal. how did it impact your life, or change the way you viewed government or the media? 40 years later, how has it impacted our nation? you can leave comments on our homepage or via twitter. use the hashtag #coveringwatergate. you can also call our oral history hotline at 202-599-4pbs. just follow the instructions and leave your voicemail at the tone.
>> suarez: and that's the newshour for tonight. on thursday, we'll update the challenges ahead getting an immigration reform bill passed in congress. i'm ray suarez. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. we'll see you online. and again here tomorrow evening. thanks for joining us. good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> more than two years ago, the people of b.p. made a commitment to the gulf. and everyday since, we've worked hard to keep it. today, the beaches and gulf are open for everyone to enjoy. we shared what we've learned so that we can all produce energy more safely. b.p. is also committed to america. we support nearly 250,000 jobs and invest more here than anywhere else. we're working to fuel america for generations to come. our commitment has never been stronger.ç
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>> rose: welcome to the program. tonight the great broadway performer nathan lane now starring on broadway in the nance. >> live, you have to be there. that's why you don't want to look at a video. you have to be, you got to be there in the room. when that happens, when, whether it is laughter or whether it is a kind of silence that you can only hear in the theatre. that is filled with either emotion or a kind of a gasp that you can only hear in the theatre, a large group of